Does Indiana Jones still have a daughter? She was created in the 1990s but was seemingly wiped from canon and replaced in Indy 4 by Mutt Williams.
Indiana Jones‘ (Harrison Ford) son, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), was introduced in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but George Lucas’ original idea was for Indy to have a daughter instead. In fact, Lucas established that Indy had a daughter over 15 years earlier in the 1990s TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. However, with the creation of Mutt Williams, who is Indy’s son with Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), it’s now unclear if Indy has a daughter at all or if the daughter in Young Indy has been retconned out of the official canon.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles allowed George Lucas to fill in Dr. Jones’s life story and depict his formative years before becoming a famous archaeologist. Many of the episodes were bookended by narration from Old Indy (George Hall), who recounted his earliest adventures. Indy’s adult daughter (Susan Bigelow) made a few appearances, and it was established that Old Indy also had two grandchildren, Spike and Judy. However, as Lucas tinkered with Young Indy for the show’s home video release, he edited the episodes into TV movies and excised the Old Indy scenes, which also meant losing Indy’s daughter. Still, Lucas held onto the notion of Indiana Jones having a daughter as he spent the 1990s and early 2000s working out his ideas for a fourth Indiana Jones movie with various screenwriters.
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As the movie that became Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was being developed, Lucas suggested that Indy’s daughter be introduced. As cited in The Complete Making of Indiana Jones by J.W. Rinzler, Lucas’s idea was that “she was going to be 13, a little spitfire.” However, director Steven Spielberg overrode Lucas because he felt Indy having a teenage daughter was too similar to Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm and his teenage daughter in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Spielberg preferred to give Indy a son, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s screenwriter David Koepp suggested making him a nerd. Lucas balked and decided that Indy’s boy “needs to be what Indiana Jones’ father thought of Indiana Jones… he’s everything a father can’t stand.” Since the film was set in 1957, Lucas ordered Indy’s son to be modeled after Marlon Brando’s rebellious biker in The Wild One. The filmmakers also chose to follow “tradition” and name Indy’s son “Mutt,” just as Indy named himself after his family’s dog.
However, before LaBeouf, who was Spielberg’s first and only choice, was cast as Mutt Williams in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, rumors were circulating about Indiana Jones’ daughter being in the film. During publicity for The Perfect Storm, Allen let slip that she had heard Natalie Portman was cast in the role of Indy’s daughter. Portman starred in George Lucas’s Star Wars prequel trilogy as Padme Amidala, but it’s unclear how much substance there was to the actress being cast in Indy 4 or where Allen heard the rumor. Portman’s name remained attached to Indy 4 and the nonexistent role of Indy’s daughter until the official announcement of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the film’s cast was released in 2007.
The question of whether Indiana Jones has a daughter or will have a daughter remains open. The combination of George Lucas excising the Old Indy/Indy’s daughter scenes from The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones (as the TV series was renamed) and the advent of Mutt seems to wipe Indy’s daughter (and his grandchildren) from canon. It has now been established that as of 1957, Mutt is Indy’s only known offspring. However, Indy marrying Marion at the end of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull could lead to the couple having a daughter in the next Indiana Jones movie.
Whether Indy and Marion give Mutt a younger sister, or if the original daughter in Young Indy is reintroduced, will now be up to director James Mangold, who is currently in production on Indiana Jones 5. If Indiana Jones‘ daughter ever does appear in a movie (whether or not Natalie Portman plays her), it’s also worth wondering whether she will also name herself after a dog like her father and brother.
- Indiana Jones 5 (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
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